The USP keeps a free public database of food ingredient fraud in order to keep the public’s awareness. They recently just added almost 800 new foods to the list. According to them, that is a jump of about 60% from last year. Wow!
What does “Food Fraud” mean? Well, according to the USP, it is a collective term that incorporates the deliberate substitution, addition, misrepresentation, or the tampering of food, food ingredients or the packaging. It also encompasses the false or misleading statements made about the product for the manufacturer’s economic gain.
I’ll only list a few of the new foods added to their list. When you have time, you can investigate their list to see what other fake foods you may be buying. Food Fraud Database
Spices like turmeric, chili powder and saffron were found to be diluted with less expensive spices or ﬁllers. In some cases, the spice was found to be completely replaced with a less expensive spice or ﬁller. Color additives or dehydrated red beets were used to give chili powder a brighter red color.
How much seafood do you eat? Here’s something to think about, seafood fraud has become a big deal now. Seafood is an important and signiﬁcant money maker in the United States. It has been found that ﬁsh here in the U.S. are often mislabeled to avoid food safety controls. The USP states that seafood fraud has become a big problem.
The USP gave an example of ﬁsh fraud by using the sale of escolar. Escolar is a tropical ﬁsh that is labeled as white tuna or butter ﬁsh. Escolar ﬁsh is banned in Italy and Japan because it can easily cause gastrointestinal conditions. Other countries have also issued advisories on the consumption and trade industry for escolar. Monkﬁsh is sometimes mislabeled by using the puffer ﬁsh. The puffer ﬁsh can cause tetrodotoxin poisoning that can lead to paralysis and even death.
As you can see, it is important to read your food labels but it is also important to check out the USP website to see if what is on your grocery list is real or fake.
image c/o: Eat to Save your Life